We Vow to Break the Yokes

FloydBy Grecia Lopez-Reyes, an L.A.-based community organizer. This was written for a memorial for George Floyd in L.A. (right) a few weeks ago.

Jesus of Nazareth, you who were wrongly accused and crucified by the state, break the bonds of injustice.

We have gathered here today in pain, grief, and anger demanding justice. We gather remembering the life of George Floyd, who as Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the State. The murder of George Floyd and the wrongful killings happening in our black communities has shaken this nation. You have woken us up Lord, because justice demands it! Continue reading “We Vow to Break the Yokes”

A Sustainable Culture Built Around Anti-Racism

resmaaAn excerpt from an interview Kristen Moe did with trauma therapist Resmaa Menakem, originally posted on Medium (May 24, 2020).

…we will not fix the problem of structural racism and racial violence in this country unless we heal the ways that racial trauma lives in our bodies. It will not happen. One thing that white people and white justice leaders are starting to understand is that there’s work to be done among white people — and that work has to be embodied. White people have got to start to lean into how to create culture around the abolition of white body supremacy. Not workshops, not book clubs, but culture. There’s been a culture built around segregation and assimilation; but there has not been a sustainable culture built around anti-racism. Not yet. How do we build a culture in which white people name their children in the tradition of anti-racist heroes? What are the stories of that culture? What are the rules of admonishment and rules of acceptance? What does the elderhood process look like in an anti-racist culture? How do we teach our white children about race in a way that is open and honest but doesn’t center them as the standard? How do we leverage our white body currency to make lives for our children less arduous? How do we develop the ability to notice when we’re taking up too much room, or when we’re hiding because we’re uncomfortable? Continue reading “A Sustainable Culture Built Around Anti-Racism”

You Corrupted Wisdom for the Sake of Splendor

KenBy Ken Sehested

I will likely be considered antiquated, maybe maniacal, even apoplectic when I say we in the US (with derivative outbreaks elsewhere) are under the spell of the demonic, of those who worship death’s malicious craving, specifically the sacrificial scalp of dissenters, of those who do not genuflect in its presence, of any and all who stand in the way of imperial designs, who claim authority to divide the world into makers and takers, to shape all reality in service to the ruthless pursuit of power’s conceit, arrogance being the elixir of indefinite, everlasting rule of the strong over the weak, the privileged over the disdained, the worthy over the maimed. Continue reading “You Corrupted Wisdom for the Sake of Splendor”

Running and Reckoning

caitBy Cait De Mott Grady, kicking off the virtual Peter De Mott Peace Trot, an annual race in Ithaca to honor the late Plowshares activist on Father’s Day

Greetings from Detroit!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cait De Mott Grady. I’m Peter De Mott and Ellen Grady’s second daughter. I live in Detroit, MI where I work as a felony public defender and organizer.

It’s so good to be with all of you virtually tonight, though I long to be with you all in person. Continue reading “Running and Reckoning”

White Folks, Relationships are Key for Movement Building

Shenk 2
Demonstrators at a June 14 nonviolent assembly and vigil supporting the Movement for Black Lives and in honor of loved ones killed by police violence in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Photo credit: Chaplains on the Harbor, chaplainsontheharbor.org.

By Tim W. Shenk

Part 2 of “Don’t Delete Your White Friends.”

I wrote a short piece recently, encouraging my fellow white people not to delete our white friends who post hurtful or misinformed opinions, especially around race and racism.

Lots of people have read this piece. Many have gotten what I was trying to say, but I don’t think I was clear enough. It’s not about penance or doing hard things out of guilt about our whiteness, and it’s not about staying friends with white supremacists. Here’s a second attempt to say more about what I was driving at.

I want to be clear that the “don’t delete white friends” proposal applies to people we’re actually friends with — in real life! Not just on social media. “Don’t delete” is less about curating a Facebook profile and more about an orientation for our actual lives. The friends I’m talking about are people that at some point have shared something significant in common with us. People who have some reason to care about us and what we think, and vice versa.
Continue reading “White Folks, Relationships are Key for Movement Building”

Divine Strangers

Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama 1963

By Tommy Airey, a sermon on Genesis 18:1-15. For Storydwelling, a local community of belonging, ritual and resistance in Central Oregon (June 14, 2020).

“Abraham looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.’”—Genesis 18:2-3

For some context: Abraham and Sarah are a very wealthy couple who cannot get pregnant. They try and try, year after year, decade after decade. Nothing. Late in life, God promises that they will have a child. Ten years pass. Still nothing—so Sarah gives Abraham her slave Hagar as a surrogate wife to bear their child. Hagar is Egyptian. She is a Black woman. When Hagar gets pregnant and gives birth to their son Ishmael, Sarah gets resentful and violently abuses her. This was the original version of The Handmaid’s Tale. Continue reading “Divine Strangers”

Day of Fasting and Focus

ppcFrom Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival:

Join us Monday June 8th, two weeks after George Floyd’s death, for a Day of Fasting and Focus which will culminate at 5:00pm when we are asking people to stop where you are for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in silence in honor of the time George Floyd had the literal knee of the state on his neck.

Take the pledge to participate in a National Moment of Silence in Honor of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality on Monday at 5pm EST. Continue reading “Day of Fasting and Focus”

More is at Work than Passes for the News

SehestedBy Ken Sehested

Almost every breakthrough begins with a breakdown. Goodness is not thereby assured; then again, neither is our breath, day by day.

We hope to be effective; but our perseverance is not hitched to efficacy. We insert ourselves, compassionately and intelligently, because that’s who we are. (Or at least who we are becoming.) Continue reading “More is at Work than Passes for the News”

Looting

nickRev. Dr. Nick Peterson  (right) says he was just shooting from the hip in these posts last week. We say he was shooting straight for our heart. 

I mean if we want to talk about looting, let’s talk about the “stolen properties” that structure the entire existence of this horrible project. America is a testimony to the sanctity of white looting. #pentecost

Looting in 1607. That’s when the first “permanent” English settlement was established on the “James” river.

Looting, 1607

What 4 centuries, not days, of “looting” look like. Continue reading “Looting”

Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard

MinnyBy Ric Hudgens

This Sunday, May 31, 2020, Christians celebrate the Day of Pentecost. It is a celebration rooted in the Hebrew “Feast of Weeks” (Shavuot). Christians around the world observe it on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The Biblical origin of the sacred holiday is the Book of Acts, chapter 2, which describes the “descent of the Holy Spirit” upon the earliest church. Continue reading “Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard”